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CAN CLOUDS PREDICT EARTHQKAKES?

Since time immemorial sailors and others have watched the sky in an attempt to read signs of the coming storms in the clouds, now new research is indicating that it might also be possible to see signs of impending earthquakes in the clouds.

According to New Scientist Magazine (www.newscientist.com), a couple Chinese geophysicists, Guangmeng Guo and Bin Wang of Nanyang Normal University in Henan, China, when studying satellite images from December 2004, noticed a gap in the clouds that precisely foreshadowed the location of the main fault in southern Iran. Even though the clouds around it were moving, the mysterious gap stayed fixed. Temperatures in the gap which stretched for hun­dreds of miles were also higher. Sixty nine days later, February 22, 2005 an earthquake of magnitude 6.4 hit the area, killing more than 600 people. In December, 2005 a similar formation again appeared in the Iranian clouds 64 days be­fore a magnitude 6 event in the area.

Guo and Wang think that hot gases released from inside the fault may have caused water in the clouds to evapo­rate, but, at this point, no one is quite sure what to make of it. The hope is that there may be some process at work which could lead to reliable earthquake prediction, something which, heretofore, has been sadly lacking.

Mystics of many traditions have long looked for subtle signs in clouds as harbingers of many events on earth. May­be they were on to something.

Electricity from Sound from Heat

While the modern technology may generate more heat than light, in the future it may be electricity.

Physicists at the university of Utah have discovered how to turn such heat into sound, which in turn can be turned into electricity. The energy in waste heat is usually too chaotic to be made into usable energy, but by directing it to resonators in a tube, a flow of hot air can be produced which can made to produce a loud tone like a flute. The single tone can easily be converted to electricity.

Researcher Orest Symko says the technique could produce plenty of electricity. Plans are underway to test his de­vices at a military radar facility and at a University of Utah hot-water generating plant. The army hopes the system will provide portable energy generation. Proponents think the method could be an alternative to photovoltaic cells and provide a new way to cool computers and to generate more electricity from the heat released in nuclear plant cooling towers.

CBS Touts Inventor’s Machine to Cure Cancer

A cure for cancer invented in a garage by an amateur. That is a story line with plenty of appeal to many of the readers of this magazine who have long believed that the entrenched mainstream science establishment with its big money and institutional clout are not too musclebound to fix anything, and that our hopes for solutions to the biggest prob­lems rest on the shoulders of the agile little guy. Laugh if you will, but even CBS TV seems to think that such a story may now be unfolding.

In April, 60 Minutes with reporter Leslie Stahl carried the story of amateur inventor John Kanzius of Pennsylvania and his amazing machine to cure cancer. A former radio and television executive, Kanzius was diagnosed with termi­nal leukemia. In the course of painful chemotherapy and concerned about children dying without hope, Kanzius de­cided to try some of his almost forgotten radio knowledge to develop a machine that could attack cancer. His wife thought he was crazy, but somehow he hit on a method of heating targeted cells with radio waves. Subsequently he joined forces with a maker of magnetic nanoparticles and figured out how to heat and destroy cancer cells without any side effects. Kanzius’s machine has shown such phenomenal results that big money and big research have fol­lowed, and some experts are now saying the approach has more promise than anything they have seen in years.

Cancers are said to have been cured in rats, but human trials are still years away—not soon enough, it seems, to save John Kansius, but, if he lives long enough to see the first patient treated, he will go willingly, he says.

For more information visit http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/10/60minutes/main4006951.shtml

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